Houston Community College NW and NewSpring seek to train new and existing business owners to be successful in running their businesses. Each year they sponsor a business plan competition which combines business education with a business plan competition. Please listen to hear Sondra Louvier, Director of Entrepreneurship at HCC-NW and 2 of this year’s winners – The Texas Swim Academy, represented by Bruce and William McMordie and Hussain Ali co-founder of HD2Menus.com discuss how the preparation for the competition and the actual competition benefited their businesses.
About the guests
Sandra Louvier joined Houston Community College in May 2009 to create the Center for Entrepreneurship at HCC NW and to implement the innovation grant that funded the creation of HCC’s entrepreneurial certificate programs. The Center for Entrepreneurship offers workshops, seminars, classes, certificate programs and the annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition. Ms. Louvier also served in various positions in the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program from 2011-2013. In 2013, Ms. Louvier & HCC were selected to serve as an ambassador college for the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). Sandra is in contact with over 50 colleges in 30 states to assist members in accessing NACCE resources to grow their programs. In 2013/2014, Ms. Louvier and Dean Evelyn Velasquez won and implemented a Coleman Foundation Action Grant dedicated to creating and expanding internal and external entrepreneurial partnerships. Prior to HCC, Ms. Louvier consulted in the hotel & restaurant industry for 17 years through PKF Consulting, Laventhol & Horwath, Marriott and Louvier & Associates, her own consulting practice in California, specializing in economic feasibility analysis and appraisals for hotels and resorts. She was also Real Estate Director, U.S. for Pillsbury/The Haagen-Dazs Shoppe Company, Inc., for 9 years. She received a B.S. in Hotel & Restaurant Management and an MBA in Finance from the University of Houston and has also taught Franchising there. For more information on the Center for Entrepreneurship at HCC NW and the HCC Newpspring Business Plan Competition: 713-718-6650; firstname.lastname@example.org and www.hccbizconnect.org.
William McMordie is the son Bruce and Kathleen McMordie, owners of Texas Swim Academy. Bruce first came to HCC through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program as a graduate of Cohort 4 in 2012. Three years later they had implemented the growth plan created in 2012 and were ready to develop more of their ideas about expansion. They jumped at the chance to enter the 2015 HCC Newspring Business plan competition and entered as a team with two other employees. They also used the experience of the competition to put William front and center into their current and future expansion plans. William has worked as an administrator in the business since 2012 and completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Supply Chain Management from Texas A&M University in 2014. William took the lead when the Texas Swim Academy team made the finals. He made the full presentation to the judges; with all team members participating in the interactive Q&A with the judges. The plan is to add a new competitive swimming facility to Texas Swim Academy with an estimated opening date of Fall 2016. The $12,000 first place prize money is going toward the expansion. William is becoming a spokesperson for new future of Texas Swim Academy and will again take the lead in this radio spot with Bruce there to cheer him on and support him. What a family business!
Hussain Ali created a plan in the 2015 HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition to launch HD2Menus.com, a digital signage company focusing on the restaurant industry. Ali heard about entrepreneurial programs at HCC through his involvement in the Greater Houston Partnership. He was an owner of a new micro-enterprise and wanted to either expand or launch another related company. He took the Small Business Management Class and applied for the Competition in January 2015.
Ali had graduated from University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems in 2005. He became a Digital Signage Certified Expert and worked in the industry until he launched his own company, Houston Dynamic Displays (HD2) in 2013. The training and mentoring in the competition allowed Ali and his partner Irtzia Arain, to get organized and focused. They are using their Third Place prize money of $4,000 to form their new LLC, move into office space and begin marketing their new company this summer, 2015.